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The Azaylia Foundation

2280. Safiyya Vorajee

Safiyya Vorajee, from Warwickshire, along with former partner Ashley Cain, founded ‘The Azaylia Foundation’ in memory of their daughter, Azaylia, who passed away from Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML) at eight months old in 2021.

By working with a strong community of supporters and a large public audience, the charity aims to advance the early diagnosis and treatment availability for childhood cancer and support families. All funds raised by the charity are used to further their work and support new talent, with over £1.1 million having been donated to date towards research and treatment into childhood cancer, as well as supporting individual treatments of children. Their flagship programme, the ‘Azaylia Childhood Cancer PhD’, was launched in 2022 to fund the next generation of leaders in childhood cancer, with five scholarships having already been awarded to PhD candidates at the University of Birmingham and Oxford University.

Through the foundation’s “Wear Orange for Azaylia” non-uniform day in schools, Safiyya has further sought to raise awareness for childhood cancer and to also promote kindness, inclusivity and mutual support by visiting students across the UK. With the support of the PhDs and researchers funded by ‘The Azaylia Foundation’, in 2024 ‘Wear Orange for Azaylia’ will also help schools inspire kids towards STEM from an early age. Safiyya also uses her platforms to raise awareness of childhood cancer – with the foundation’s donor appeal last year resulting in over 100,000 people signing up – but also to help people navigate grief and find support, including through her new series of in-person events, ‘One Night with Safiyya’.

Safiyya was awarded by the Minister for Women and Health, Maria Caulfield MP, at a Downing Street reception celebrating International Women’s Day. (Picture by No 10 Downing Street)

In a personal letter to Safiyya, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: 

“I can only imagine your pain at losing Azaylia, at just eight months of age, to Acute Myeloid Leukaemia. Yet, out of this tragedy, you have found the courage and determination to build an incredible legacy in her name.

“I was moved to hear that you attribute your remarkable strength and purpose to Azaylia – and I think this shines through in everything that you have achieved and the difference you are making for so many other children and their families.”

Find out more about ‘The Azaylia Foundation

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